"Two Sides" was
NAPM-led initiative commencing in 2007
has been around for almost 2000 years, and during this time it has undoubtedly
established itself as the most effective and versatile means of communication.
Even in today’s digital age with the availability of alternative media,
paper’s unique practical and aesthetic qualities simply can’t be achieved by
using electronic alternatives. That’s not to say that one is less suitable
than the other. Both paper-based & electronic communication have a role to
play and can compliment each other.
In recent years, however, paper has been the target of negative and often
misinformed environmental criticism. Listening to some people, its benefits are
outweighed by the mass of misleading environmental disadvantages; shrinking
forests, excessive energy consumption, and overflowing landfill sites. So as far
as the environment is concerned, paper appears bad.
It isn’t and paper doesn’t have to cost the earth. While paper does use
trees, its production does consume energy and too often, waste paper ends up in
landfill sites, it is also one of the few truly renewable and recyclable raw
materials we have.
As an industry, we have generally responded to accusations
in a reactive & uncoordinated way. And yet we have one of the strongest
stories to tell. Wood fibre has the opportunity to renew itself naturally and
be reused often, so despite the barrage of criticism, there are two sides to
paper and it does have a strong environmental story to tell.
In response, the NAPM launched ‘Two Sides’, an industry-wide
initiative to address these criticisms, to educate the paper-buying public of
the true facts so they can make informed choices, while at the same time,
promote responsible paper use. The key focus is to encourage people to
question and challenge their existing wisdom about paper, to counteract the
impact of the current environmental lobby against the paper industry, and
arrest the guilt surrounding the use of paper.
However, changing public perception will take time and effort, so for ‘Two
Sides’ to be successful, the print and paper industries need to speak with a
common voice to dispel the myths and present the real facts.
In the meantime take
a look at the website at:
Martyn Eustace is the Director of Two
Tel: +44 (0) 1327 262920
Mob: +44 (0)